24 April marked the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. After intense campaigning from global unions and other stakeholders, the Rana Plaza compensation fund lacks US$2,7 million to reach the US$30 million needed for the victims and their families.
On 24 April 2013, more than 1,100 workers were killed and thousands more were injured in an industrial homicide which opened the world’s eyes to the conditions in garment factories.
Two years after the deadly building collapse, the Rana Plaza compensation fund is still missing US$2,7 million from the targeted US$30 million.
IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina says:
“Let us now close one of the most shameful chapters in the history of the garment industry and move on. The multi billion-garment industry has the resources. We call upon all leading brands to end the funding crisis.”
On the anniversary people all over the world manifested the need for a changing garment industry.
IndustriALL affiliates around the world organized solidarity actions; on the streets of Dhaka children made orphans two years ago staged a sit-in; the IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) formed a human chain followed by a rally.
“We urge buyers and other stakeholders to pay off the remaining compensation and we demand a safe workplace,” said leaders of the IBC.
Towards a living wage
Since the collapse, progress in making Bangladeshi garment factories safer have been made, using the legally binding Bangladesh Accord.
However, with the remediation process currently behind schedule and an increasingly anti-union approach from factory owners and the government, the struggle for garment workers in Bangladesh is not over.
Jyrki Raina says that brands and factory owners have to be part of the solution, working together with IndustriALL.
“Important progress has been made. Now the garment industry needs sustainable jobs with living wages, safe conditions and reasonable working hours. For that there needs to be bargaining structures in place where brands pay a bit more to enable living wages for the millions of workers in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar.”